Jeff’s Corner 3-18-22

Today, we’re going to talk about the endangered and elusive Muskrat Canary, a very strange species of Muskrat found only on the Canary Islands. It has pale straw fur, and is easily the most beautiful species of muskrat known to humanity.

This was my third trip to the Canary Islands, and I was really hoping to finally bag one. My adrenalin soared when I spotted a real beauty resting peacefully by the creek. I raised my Canon to shoot when, aye caramba, I realized I was a wine and food writer and not a wildlife writer.

So, instead we are going to talk about the not-so-elusive (but very delicious) 2021 GCV Muscat Canelli. With footprints stretching back millennia, the Muscat family of grapes is most likely the progenitor of all vitas vinifera grapes. It has over 200 members, and the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder called it “uva apiana” (grape of the bees) due to its honey-like aroma. The best variety for producing great wine is “Muscat Blanc a Petit Grains” (White Muscat with little berries). We know this grape as Muscat Canelli.

Along with its incredible history, Muscat Canelli is an extremely versatile grape. It can range in style from bone-dry to a very sweet late-harvest dessert wine. It also produces fabulous sparkling wine, and is often fortified. About two thirds of the world’s plantings are in Italy and France, and it was a major player in the early years of Texas wine.

Our new GCV 2021 Muscat Canelli is a stunning, gracefully elegant wine. A brilliant pale straw in color, this Texas High Plains beauty is a late-afternoon friendly 11.5% ABV, with an off-dry residual sugar of 2.8%, which equals 28 grams/liter, or 5.25 grams per 6 oz glass.

Dynamic, sensual aromas of orange blossom, honeysuckle, Meyer lemon, and peach flirt with wild honey, butterscotch, and toffee. The palate has a rich, velvety texture boasting a plush, round mouthfeel. The lingering finish is bright, clean, and crisp.

Let’s finish with an elegant and refreshing dessert that is perfect for spring and summer. An Italian Granita is a sweet and slushy frozen dessert made from fruit juice or wine. In France, it would be called a Granité. This is super simple. All you need is a bottle of Grape Creek Muscat Canelli and some fresh peaches, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Pour the wine into a sauté pan and simmer until the alcohol evaporates. This won’t take long, since it vaporizes at 168 degrees, long before the wine boils.

Freeze the wine overnight in a shallow, covered container.

Before serving, shave the ice with the tongs of a fork until it is a slushy consistency.

Cut the strawberries into pieces equal in size to the blackberries. Place the berries in the bottom of a frozen Martini glass and spoon the slush on top.

How easy is that, and you’ll look like a culinary genius!